Update … Yes, It’s Legal to Fish in Lake Manassas – If You Can Get There from Here

September 17, 2014 — Manassas City Council Work Session planned for September 23, 6:00 pm at Manassas City Hall, 2nd floor conference room. Scheduled at the request of Councilman Marc Aveni, this work session will focus on opportunities for public access to Lake Manassas for fishing and nonmotorized boating. Be there!

June 29, 2011 — The Manassas Patch has an entertaining tale of a angler who was fishing from the shoreline of Lake Manassas, when confronted by the county police.

Key sentence: “I confirmed the next day with the  City of Manassas Division of Water Utilities that, in fact, it is not  illegal to fish from the shores of the lake, so long as you have  permission to be on the property where you are fishing.”

(The city has missed a great opportunity to open Lake Manassas to public recreational use, in partnership with George Mason University and the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.  Instead, the city hired extra police and is paying lawyers to keep the lake closed, blocking public access.  Only landowners with property adjacent to the lake – and their invited guests – have the right to fish there now.)

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5 comments so far

  1. countertop on

    Do you have the right to hunt waterfowl?

    How do they outlaw operation of a boat on a navigable water?

  2. cgrymes on

    The city controls access to the Lake, blocking anyone from getting their boat to the water. In addition, under a city ordinance the lake is “closed.”

    Prince William Circuit Court says city has the authority to block access, but appeals are still continuing.

    However, just because something is legal does not mean it is a good thing to do. Good public policy is for public lands and public waters to be open for reasonable public use, including recreation such as fishing.

  3. Vince on

    I was thinking of buying a house with a yard up to the lake. So you are saying its okay to fish from y back yard?

  4. cgrymes on

    Best check with the city first, before assuming access is legal and will be permitted. If the city has publicly interpreted the judge’s ruling and announced any plans for managing access beyond KEEP OUT, please let us know…

  5. Keith Baldwin on

    When citizens is denied access to a city own land, in this case, a lake included, the officials of the city government elected and appointed officials has been paid off. Follow the money trail and you will find the traitors to the citizens of Manassas.


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